Durian Market Analysis - Trends, Growth & Market Opportunities (2024) - Top Fruits

Durian Market Analysis – Trends, Growth & Market Opportunities (2024)

Durian Market Analysis – Trends, Growth & Market Opportunities (2024)

By Top Fruits Team | Jan 16, 2024

Many Southeast Asians regard the durian as the “King of Fruit” due to the thorny covering that guards over the fruit’s unique flavor and distinct aroma. “Durian” comes from the term “Duri,” meaning thorn.

The durian fruit tree is native to Brunei, Indonesia, and Malaysia and is thought to have originated from the Malay Archipelago. However, it is now grown extensively in Thailand and the Philippines.

durian market analysis

The Durio genus contains thirty species, but only nine can produce edible fruit. The edible varieties are further categorized into cultivars.

A cultivar is a specific variety of durian selected for desirable traits such as size, flavor, texture, color, odor, and other tree characteristics. Many durian cultivars exist, each officially registered with the government of their country of origin.

Once considered a niche product, durian has transcended borders, captivating the palate of consumers across Asia and the world.

The immensely popular Musang King variety has fuelled durian’s rise to global domination. The fruit is now in great demand in China, with Chinese consumers falling in love with durian’s unique flavor profile as they also take advantage of its many health benefits.

musang king durian

Opportunities in durian and its derivative products continue to grow as global players like Nestle, Starbucks, F&N, McDonald’s, and Pizza Hut attempt to capture the market with innovative products in three key market segments: desserts, snacks, and beverages.

Malaysia’s durian export game is seriously leveling up, with a whopping 107% spike from 2016 to 2021, revealing how ripe this market is for even more growth.

With Malaysia and Indonesia delivering increasing quantities of durians, their combined efforts have sparked a surge in appetite for the fruit throughout the region and the world.

Durian Market Trends in Southeast Asia

Southeast Asia’s thriving durian industry has not just boosted its economy; it’s also placed the region squarely in the spotlight of the international market. The region is carving out a name for itself in the durian export market as it distributes the spiky, health-giving, and delicious fruit globally.

As the world’s leading durian producer, Thailand has significantly influenced the market. with a total commercial production of about 700,000 tonnes in 2022. During the initial five months of 2023, Thailand shipped more than 0.47 million tons of fresh durian.

Malaysia and Indonesia follow closely, with 455,458 tonnes and 227,000 tonnes of durian production in 2022, respectively.


Source: The Star

So, the strong lineup of top durian producers like Malaysia and Indonesia, locals eating more durians, and expanding global demand have significantly boosted the durian market size.

The taste for durian has gone global, with North America getting a taste for the Southeast Asian delicacy. American consumers crave new flavors, and the robust durian export market is happy to oblige.

But it’s not just the taste that’s capturing everyone’s attention; it’s also revered for its impressive health-giving properties.

Durian Fruit Health and Wellness Benefits

As more health-conscious consumers learn about the excellent nutrition delivered by regular servings of durian fruit, the market will expand further.

A high concentration of anti-oxidants can reduce cancer risk in some consumers, and the fruit has also demonstrated anti-depressant (containing tryptophan) and anti-ageing properties.

Global Durian Market Size and Growth Projections

The growth of the market is attributed to factors such as:

  • Increasing adoption of veganism
  • The growing popularity of durian fruit as an exotic food item
  • An expanding market with more regions and demographics appreciating the fruit’s distinctive flavor and health benefits.

Regional Contribution to Market Growth

An estimated 84% of the growth of the durian fruit market will come from the APAC region. Dominating the durian trade, Thailand, Malaysia, and Indonesia are pivotal players whose hefty exports significantly boost the industry’s earnings.

Hong Kong, Mainland China, Singapore, the US, and Australia were the top 5 destinations for durian imports 2020. The region is also experiencing substantial growth in demand for durian fruit-based products, with major global companies such as Nestle, F&N, McDonald’s, and Pizza Hut entering the market.

As the durian market booms, especially in Asia Pacific hotspots like Thailand and Malaysia, these big brands are diving in with new twists on durian delights to increase their market share.

Durian-flavored snacks, chips, cakes, ice cream, gelato, pizza, mooncakes, and beverages like coffee and tea have gained popularity and fueled the world’s craving for exotic fruit.

Large manufacturers, like Top Fruits, are expanding their product lines to fulfill the increasing demand for durian-based products, such as fresh durian, frozen whole durian, and frozen durian paste.

Durian Fruit Market Business Opportunities

While exploring the durian fruit market, you’ll find exciting growth opportunities in fields like farming and product innovation, especially with the push toward sustainability and increasing global trade connections.

Market Growth Trajectory

The market segmentation by product (frozen pulp and paste and whole fruit), distribution channel (offline and online), and geography (APAC, North America, Europe, Middle East and Africa, and South America) is expected to play a significant role in shaping the market dynamics.

Asia-Pacific’s appetite for sweet treats like jams and creams is rising, with powerhouses like China and India increasing demand and fuelling significant market growth year after year.

More and more people are catching on to how durian fruit can boost your health by aiding digestion, keeping blood pressure in check, and antidepressants —factors that increase durian’s market appeal in Asia-Pacific. These factors will continue driving the regional market’s growth over the next decade.

Innovative Product Development and Consumer Preferences

New opportunities are opening through product development as manufacturers explore durian-based products, including durian-flavored snacks, desserts, and beverages that cater to evolving consumer preferences.

Different varieties of durian fruit possess unique traits that can cater to diverse consumer preferences. For example, durian varieties Musang King and D24 are premium varieties that allow manufacturers to capitalize on quality durian products that are highly sought after for their superior taste and texture.

Musang King is famous for its richness and smooth, creamy texture. D24 has a dense, golden yellow flesh and a sweet, creamy taste, perfect for those who desire a sweeter-tasting fruit.

Black Thorn durian is characterized by its rough, spiky texture that matches the bitter, pungent flavor hidden within that many durian enthusiasts describe as an acquired taste.

Timing is critical for this durian variety. A slightly underripe product is preferred because of its bittersweet flavor profile that is unique in the durian family.

As durian fruit is incorporated into various food items like pies, cookies, coffee, and more, we are beginning to see how the versatile fruit will deliver abundant opportunities for manufacturers and farmers.

Opportunities for the Durian Market in Malaysia

A durian plantation presents significant opportunities for farmers in Malaysia and Southeast Asia, driven by the increasing global demand for this prized tropical fruit. The following factors highlight the potential for durian farming in the region:

Rising Global Demand

The global demand for durian, particularly varieties like Musang King, has been steadily increasing, with countries like China developing a substantial appetite for this exotic fruit.

The demand surge has led to a significant expansion in durian cultivation, allowing farmers to capitalize on this growing market.

Economic Potential

Often hailed as the “King of Fruits,” for more reasons than its thorny exterior, durian farming promises substantial economic potential for farmers.

The high-quality grades of durian, especially sought-after varieties like Musang King, command premium prices in the market.

This presents an attractive revenue opportunity for farmers engaged in durian cultivation, contributing to the region’s economic growth.


Technological Advancements

The adoption of smart farming practices and innovative agricultural technologies has the potential to enhance the efficiency and productivity of durian farming.

Technologies such as intelligent fertigation systems and data-driven agricultural methods can optimize output, reduce costs, and streamline farming operations, offering farmers the means to enhance their yields and profitability.

Export Opportunities

Malaysia, in particular, has emerged as a significant durian exporter, with the country’s durian exports gaining traction in international markets.

The permission to export frozen durian to the Chinese market has opened up new avenues for farmers to expand their reach and capitalize on the export potential of durian farming.

Government Support

Government initiatives and policies aimed at promoting durian cultivation, such as tax exclusions on durian exports, contribute to the market growth in Malaysia.

Additionally, the Malaysian government’s plans to boost farmers for agrotourism and establish licensed durian investment companies indicate the support available for durian farming.

Sustainability and Ethical Sourcing

Consumers are becoming more conscious of sustainable and ethically sourced products, prompting durian growers and suppliers to adopt responsible farming practices.

Besides sustainable farming, suppliers are also jumping on the sustainability bandwagon by implementing eco-friendly packaging and promoting ethical sourcing to resonate with environmentally conscious consumers and present opportunities for market growth.


International Trade Partnerships and Expanding Export Markets

Building solid international trade relationships can create promising opportunities for exporting. Increasing demand for durian fruit globally presents an opportunity for exporters to enter new markets and expand their presence on the international stage.

The durian fruit market is full of potential due to changing tastes, eco-friendly practices, and global trade connections. By capitalizing on these trends, industry players can enhance their reach, diversify their products, and meet the worldwide demand for new textures and flavors.

Malaysia, Southeast Asia, and the Asia Pacific Market Insight

Myriad opportunities exist for stakeholders in the Malaysian, Southeast Asian, and Asia Pacific regions, driven by the region’s expanding role in the durian market, its dominance in production and export, and the growing demand in key areas worldwide.

Durian Export: Malaysia’s Role in the Global Market

Malaysia has emerged as a key player in the durian market, with exports of the exotic fruit witnessing a remarkable 107% increase from 2016 to 2021.

In 2021, then Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Food Industries, Datuk Seri Ahmad Hamzah, addressed the growth of the durian fruit market and emphasized Malaysia’s pivotal role in meeting the rising global demand.

Malaysia’s strategic export destinations, including Hong Kong, Mainland China, Singapore, the US, and Australia, underscore the country’s expanding footprint in the international durian market.

Government support, such as tax exclusions on durian exports, further enhances the competitiveness of Malaysian durians in the global arena, contributing to the country’s market growth.

durian-export-in-malaysiaSource: Malay Mail

Southeast Asia’s Dominance in Durian Production and Export

Southeast Asia, comprising countries such as Thailand, Malaysia, and Indonesia, has become established as a dominant force in durian production and export.

The region’s robust presence of leading durian-producing countries has significantly contributed to the high exports and market revenue.

According to Million Insights, the size of the durian fruit market is expected to reach USD 14.1 billion by 2028 and experience a 9.4% CAGR from 2023 to 2028.

The region’s growing middle class and increasing consumer awareness of health benefits have been key drivers of the demand for durian fruit, further solidifying Southeast Asia’s dominance in the global market.

Malaysia, Southeast Asia, and the Asia Pacific region offer a fertile ground for stakeholders in the durian market, with Malaysia’s pivotal role in market growth, Southeast Asia’s dominance in production and export, and growing demand in regions such as China, the USA, Singapore, and Australia driving market opportunities and growth.

The region’s rich cultural heritage and economic significance of durian fruit cultivation and consumption further underscore the promising prospects for stakeholders in the durian market.

Looking Ahead: The Promising Future of the Durian Fruit Market

Evolving consumer preferences and the growing health and wellness movement promise a profitable future for the durian market in Malaysia.

As with most industries, there are challenges to overcome. However, despite difficult transportation logistics and the fruit’s pungent odor, the market is poised to offer opportunities for manufacturers, durian plantation owners, and other stakeholders.

These opportunities include expansion into international markets, product diversification, and development of value-added offerings.

With increasing demand and global awareness, the outlook for the durian fruit market is bright, and Top Fruits is set to continue as a significant player in its growth.

With a durian fruit factory built on the doorstep of a fruit plantation, Top Fruits is uniquely positioned to ensure that only the freshest produce is used in durian frozen food products.


Our commitment to preserving durian fruit’s unique taste and texture has been recognized with the MyGAP (Malaysia Good Agriculture Practice) certification. As we expand our commercial reach, we will continue to invest in state-of-the-art facilities that are HACCP & GMP-compliant to ensure we always meet stringent quality standards suitable for an international market.

As a durian fruit market leader, we support our local farmers, landowners, and agricultural businesses through our experienced durian plantation consultation services.

If you would like to learn more about how you can become a part of Malaysia’s explosive growth in the durian fruit market, get in touch with Top Fruits today!